advertisement
Question
Posted by: Racoon | 2010-04-30

Mefliam/Lariam warning!

I read post 1238 re Mefliam and I am gob-smacked that this medication is still prescribed for malaria prophylaxis! it has been proven over and over again to cause long term psychogical problems of which some are permanent. In my opinion it is criminal to still have it on the racks. I had personal experience with Lariam after taking it for a few months when doing research in Kruger Park in the mid 90''s. It caused a type of REM transition sleep disorder for me which I still suffer from. A number of vivid dreams every single night, waking after about and hour thinking that I''m awake and reacting what I''m dreaming at that stage - anything from jumping out of bed and running, to swatting things or protecting my husband from whatever is attacking us, and thats not even the tip of the iceberg! it remains traumatic to me and my whole family. And I am one the Lariam-suffers who came off lightly. There are much better options for malaria prophylaxis!!

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well, one has to assess every medicine in context - if you read up about malaria, and what it can do to you, the potential ( they're not compulsory ! ) problems with a drug like mefliam may seem more reasonable, on balance.
Overall, I think we overlook the potential for ordinary medically used drugs to cause psych side-effects - even antibiotics can cause confusion, and a range of disorders, including sleep changes. But these are usually a price worth paying when compared with the risks and unpleasantness of an untreated infection.
Judging by your previous experience with lariam, you may be, for some mysterious reason, more sensitive to these effects from this particula family of drugs, than others. Did you mention the Lariam problem to the travel clinic doc who prescribed the Mefliam to you ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

21
Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-07-10

I have taken my 4th tablet and have a terrible skin rash. My entire body breaks out into welts and you cannot sleep lie down or do anything. I look like someone with really bad psoriasis.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016-07-05

This will be our third trip to Ponto this year and our fourth trip to Mozambique in 4 years. Both my husband and I have always taken Mefliame before, during and after our trips and i can honestly say that we have had absolutely no adverse effects.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015-12-17

Iv only been on the meds for 3 weeks and back from holiday already.... Terribke side effecta including hectic depresion and anxiety to the point where ppl dont want to come near me at this stage... Im very active in sports and never had depresion before... Im usually the life of the party. Totally regret taking that shit! Id rather have malaria

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Rans | 2015-12-02

We are going to Ponto de Oura (spelling?) in two weeks - I have 3 children, (12,10 & 6). I have the prescriptions for Mefliam - but I am as terrified of the side effects as what I am of exposing my kids to Malaria EVERYONE that I have spoken to has said it is a low malaria risk area (literally 5km from SA border) and I should not give the kids the tablets Any advice would be much appreciated!!

Reply to Rans | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015-12-16

Do not give your children malariam. I just returned from ponta do ouro today with my boyfriend because he was getting horrible sideaffects

Posted by: Anonymous | 2014-12-10

This drug I was on for 3 months because I was away in 2 different malaria risk zones this year, with a gap of a month inbetween. I had to take the drug continuously in spite of the 1 month gap. I never put this together at the time, but now after reading up about some side effects I have been experiencing I can also state that this is not a good thing to take. I have never had any issues with depression or sleep, but after I got back from the first trip I experienced the worst bout of insomnia I have ever had. I literally couldn't sleep for days sometimes. I eventually resorted to sleeping pills and that was how I managed to get some sleep. I then noticed that I was feeling extremely anxious about things that I normally wouldn't bat an eyelid for. Extremely so, to the point where I felt completely hopeless. I also have been suffering from headaches intermittently which is something I very seldom get. I've been off the Mefliam for about a month now and my sleeping is more or less fine, but I still get the headaches and the paranoia and anxiety come in waves at least once or twice a week. How long will this go on for?

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014-08-30

All of the quinine derived drug affects are well noted. I live in Africa(sub-Saharan) and have suffered from malaria numerous times. A lot of the data used by Doctors in the West is dated, as are treatments from many African Doctors as they still use tropical disease medication leftover from colonial texts. Use Coartem as a treatment and Malarone as a prevention. However, even coartem has sleep disorder issues. I've been prescribed quinine tablets(not even recognized treatment by many tropical disease specialists by an African state hospital) and it's awful. Ears ring, bad nightmares, gin and tonic mouth taste and smell.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014-08-18

I have taken Mefliam for 20 years - we go to the Kruger National Park once a year. Me and all my family have never, ever had the slightest side effect from Mefliam. Alberton

Reply to Anonymous | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Denise van Wyk | 2015-01-15

My husband, my adult children and I have used Mefliam every time we go to Kruger or Mozambique and have had no side effects at all. My daughter contracted malaria 5 years ago because she did not take any precautionary medications as she did not want to experience any side effects! She ended up being admitted to hospital twice and was gravely ill. moral of this story ... the side effects that may be experienced are nothing in comparison to actually being infected with malaria! Don't take the chance.

Posted by: Cherie | 2014-06-27

I've taken it on two occasions, once shortly after losing my mum. It had no adverse effects on me.

Reply to Cherie
Posted by: Malcolm | 2014-06-09

I have just received a prescription for Mefliam because im going on a short trip into a yellow fever endemnic country, I am definitely not going to get these tablets -will go back to my doctor.

Reply to Malcolm
Posted by: UBM | 2014-03-10

im a 6 months sufferer of mefliam, no doctor in RSA can help me, and it seems everybody overseas has the same problem, I was a healthy young mother and wife. I wish I can give all my adverse effects on this drug to the ones designing this pill and the uninformed doctor that described it, that told me im not welcome at his practice anymore, because he doesnt know how to handle this mistake of not telling me the black box warning on this pill, I drank only one!!!! We are many sufferers check the support groups on facebook and lariaminfo.org. why is the FDA lable suddenly changed to neurological problems can be permanent now!!!

Reply to UBM
Posted by: Ella | 2014-02-11

Due to an overland trip in Africa I got mefliam prescribed and took it for about two months when I suddenly had serious side effects. To name just the worst: Anxiety attacks, Claustrophobia, disturbed sleep Slight depression Skin rash Nausea loss of appetite liver pains I stopped taking them and within 3 weeks I was myself again. As I was nervous not taking prophylaxis, i started taking it again after a 5 weeks pause, thinking that maybe I just overreacted and all the side effects were just side effects of exhausting traveling. I took it for two weeks and all the side effects were back. I am fit, healthy, never had any depressive mood changes before and am rarely sick. All my issues definitely result from me taking Mefliam! I try and change to Malarone now.

Reply to Ella
Posted by: kobus kruger | 2014-01-03

I wish we were informed about the warnings before taking mefliam. Only dreaming at night was mentioned. My wife is currently in hospital in kasane (botswana), not for malaria but for depression, anxiety, confusion etc.

Reply to kobus kruger | 2 comments (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015-05-12

Kobus I am so sorry about your wife. I too had severe side effects 3 years ago some of which I still struggle with. whoever makes these tablets should take responsibility

Posted by: ubm | 2014-03-10

hi how is things going with your wife now, mine after 6 months still severe.

Posted by: Lee | 2013-11-18

Good Day I have a problem, my left kidney and part of my liver was removed 4 months ago due to tumours, I am now needing to go to Mozambique in December for work, the Doctor did advise me that it is safe for me to use Mefliam as it is also cheaper for the period that I am going. But now I am readung about all these horrible side-effects, and I am already suffering from sleeplessness, is there anything else that anyone could suggest?

Reply to Lee
Posted by: Goddess | 2010-04-30

This drug should definitely be taken off the market! I have not had one proper night’ s sleep since I started it (I could easily sleep 8 hours uninterrupted before). My boyfriend is also experiencing strange dreams and feeling a bit slow/ brain fog..except he does not have the anxiety I am experiencing now.. which is really scary for me! I just thought it was the humidity on holiday causing the breathlessness (anxiety) and I also got so seasick on a snorkelling trip that I was vomiting and my hands went into a weird cramp/spasm. I have never been seasick before.. I did actually research Mefliam on the internet before I took it and did not find much information.. only now have I realised that Meflaim and Lariam are the same drug and there are some serious side effects for " normal"  people as well! The nurse at the travel clinic said only if we had a history of depression or were going diving that we should not take it. Looking back now I would have definitely taken another anti malaria drug and gladly paid more!! As I have now ended up spending more on GP visits and anxiety drugs...rather ironic!! and I pray that this does not last forever! I am trying to drink lots of water and green tea but not sure if this will help.. but I keep tellling myself that this is temporary! Racoon - you and are luckier than most but hopefully the internet can help inform future users of the side effects!

Reply to Goddess | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013-09-19

hi the lady who suffered side effects from larium / mefliam, i want to ask her, is she still like that, because her post was a few years ago, i have the same of 1 mefliam and it is day 14 now after taking it, on sleeping pill and tranquiliser, even a burning sensation, never had problems before, thanks from RSA

Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-04-30

Well, one has to assess every medicine in context - if you read up about malaria, and what it can do to you, the potential ( they're not compulsory ! ) problems with a drug like mefliam may seem more reasonable, on balance.
Overall, I think we overlook the potential for ordinary medically used drugs to cause psych side-effects - even antibiotics can cause confusion, and a range of disorders, including sleep changes. But these are usually a price worth paying when compared with the risks and unpleasantness of an untreated infection.
Judging by your previous experience with lariam, you may be, for some mysterious reason, more sensitive to these effects from this particula family of drugs, than others. Did you mention the Lariam problem to the travel clinic doc who prescribed the Mefliam to you ?

Reply to cybershrink | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: UBM | 2014-03-10

if you want my 6 months of suffering after 1 mefliam pill you are welcome, it destroyed me and my whole family, I was a healthy young mother and wife to my husband. Read the black box warning and the FDA changed it to neurological problems can be permanent, Im psycological and physical crippled by mefliam

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement